Dulwich Puxi Wins Prestigious Global Award

Dulwich College is well known for its pioneering spirit…the first British independent school to establish a campus overseas, to develop a 2-18yrs Mandarin programme which consistently achieves top scores in the IB Native Mandarin pathway, to launch a cross-curriculum approach to STEAM, with SE21 being the physical space across our schools where students go to ideate and engineer the physical production of their dreams. The Dulwich tradition of curriculum innovation creates a forward thinking culture. With this sentiment, we are delighted to announce that Dulwich Puxi has been awarded a highly coveted, international education award called the “Pioneering Spirit Grant” to develop China’s first SOLE lab.

What is SOLE?

SOLE is characterised by discovery, sharing, spontaneity and limited teacher intervention. A Self-Organised Learning Environment, or SOLE, can exist anywhere there is a computer, Internet connection, and students who are ready to learn. Within a SOLE session, students are given the freedom to learn collaboratively using the internet. An educator poses a Big Question, and students form small groups to find the answer.

What is a SOLE Big Question?

Big Questions are the spark that ignites a SOLE session. Asking an interesting and relevant question fires up student’s imaginations and curiosity and leads them on a genuine process of discovery. Big Questions are the ones that don’t have an easy answer. They are often open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable. Many will tie in with what students are learning in the curriculum. The aim is to encourage deep and long conversations, rather than finding easy answers. These questions encourage students to offer theories, work collaboratively, use reason and think critically. A good Big Question will connect more than one subject area: “What is an insect?” for instance, does not touch as many different subjects as “What would happen to Earth if all insects disappeared?”.

Big Questions aren’t just about getting the ‘right’ answers, but about learning the methods and skills needed to find the answers.

Congratulations Sarah Leonard for leading the successful bid for our students. This exciting global initiative will complement and enhance our existing curriculum and enable our students and staff to collaborate with their peers across the Dulwich family and beyond. To support this development we will be working closely with Professor Sugata Mitra, the globally recognised and highly distinguished educationist, and TED prize winner. Professor Mitra inspired students and teacher alike when he visited Dulwich Puxi in February. We are honoured that he will be returning to work with us again in November.